Marriage without a marriage license is ordained of God


My text for this post is the following scripture:

And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man. (D&C 49: 15.)

Between a man and a woman

To start with, let’s make it clear that the words “marry” and “marriage” in this verse referred only to marriage between a man and a woman. This revelation was given in March/May 1831 and there was no concept of same-sex marriage back then, only marriage between the sexes.

Who forbids to marry?

And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man. (D&C 49: 15; italics added.)

Parents – Sometimes parents forbid to marry. If a young man or woman is underage, permission from the parents is needed in order for them to marry (with a valid state marriage license). In the high school I attended, there was a very pretty 16 year old girl in one of my classes who was legally married. She received permission from her parents and loved showing people her wedding ring. All the boys in the class (including myself) were kind of bummed that she was now off-limits. It was a strange situation because we all thought that parents normally would not give permission to one so young. She never had a teen pregnancy or anything. She just fell in love and wanted to get married and her folks said, “Okay.” But that doesn’t always happen.

The State – The State is the major perpetrator of forbidding to marry, with all the marriage laws and prohibitions on the books. For example, the State forbids a man from taking a second wife while his first wife is still alive. It also forbids a woman from doing the same thing. It introduces a monetary price on marriage, so that everyone must pay for the permission to get married. It places age restrictions on marriage, as well as health restrictions. Those who don’t meet the qualifications, can’t get married. In other words, they can’t get a marriage license. Additionally, it has cohabitation laws on many of the books so that anyone who tries to marry without a valid state marriage license and then live together can still be prosecuted and thrown into jail, effectively discouraging anyone who wishes to skirt around the State monopoly on marriage authorization.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – The Church is another major perpetrator of forbidding to marry. Although it has no power to stop anyone from getting married, by preaching a valid state marriage license requirement to its congregation, it supports the State’s restrictions and monopoly on marriage. Also, by excommunicating those who marry more than one living spouse (with or without a valid state marriage license, but most often without a license), it sets up its own restrictions with attendant judgments placed upon those who marry.

These three institutions, then, are not ordained of God when they forbid to marry.

But I must add one more:

A spouse – Every man who forbids his wife from marrying another man and every woman who forbids her husband from marrying another woman is also not ordained of God when they do this.

Everything that is in the world is valid in the eyes of God…for a limited time

And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law are these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred), are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.

And everything that is in the world, whether it be ordained of men, by thrones, or principalities, or powers, or things of name, whatsoever they may be, that are not by me or by my word, saith the Lord, shall be thrown down, and shall not remain after men are dead, neither in nor after the resurrection, saith the Lord your God. (D&C 132: 7, 13.)

What this means is that God recognizes “all covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations” that are made among men “both as well for time and for all eternity,” regardless of who or what entity or entities ordained them, “whether it be ordained of men, by thrones, or principalities, or powers, or things of name, whatsoever they may be,” as perfectly valid and binding only until “men are dead,” at which point such “contracts…have an end.” This applies only to contracts, oaths, etc., that are not made by the Lord or by His word.

Marriage is a covenant

Marriage is accompanied by a covenant between a man and a woman (the marriage vows), therefore, it comes under the above conditions of the law of the new and everlasting covenant. There are three types of marriage covenants covered by the conditions of this law.

Marriage covenant #1: “not by me nor by my word,” for time only

Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore, they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world. (D&C 132: 15.)

Here we have a man and a woman entering a marriage covenant, in which the man covenants to be the woman’s husband and the woman covenants to be the man’s wife. The covenant has a stated duration of “’till death do they part.” The marriage is not performed by the Lord nor by His word, therefore it is valid in the eyes of the Lord only until one of them dies.

Marriage covenant #2: “not by me or by my word,” for time and all eternity

And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife, and make a covenant with her for time and for all eternity, if that covenant is not by me or by my word, which is my law, and is not sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, through him whom I have anointed and appointed unto this power, then it is not valid neither of force when they are out of the world, because they are not joined by me, saith the Lord, neither by my word; when they are out of the world it cannot be received there, because the angels and the gods are appointed there, by whom they cannot pass; they cannot, therefore, inherit my glory; for my house is a house of order, saith the Lord God. (D&C 132: 18.)

Here we have a man and a woman entering a marriage covenant, in which the man covenants to be the woman’s husband and the woman covenants to be the man’s wife. The covenant has a stated duration of “’for time and all eternity.” The covenant is not performed by the Lord nor by His word, therefore it is valid in the eyes of the Lord only until one of them dies.

Marriage covenant #3: “by my word, which is my law,” “in time, and through all eternity”

And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths—then shall it be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever. (D&C 132: 19.)

Finally, we have a man and a woman entering the new and everlasting covenant of marriage, being married by the word of the Lord and having it sealed to them by the Holy Spirit of promise. He covenants to be her husband and she covenants to be his wife, for the duration of time and all eternity. This covenant is valid in the eyes of the Lord for as long as they abide in it.

All three marriage covenants are ordained of God

And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man. (D&C 49: 15; italics added.)

The first two marriage covenant scenarios, which operate under temporal power and authority, are ordained of God until death. The final marriage covenant scenario, which operates under eternal power and authority, is ordained of God through all eternity.

Marriage is ordained of God because it creates permanency

God is all about creating permanency: things that remain.

For whatsoever things remain are by me; and whatsoever things are not by me shall be shaken and destroyed. (D&C 132: 14.)

The only difference between fornication (unlawful sexual relations) and marriage (lawful sexual relations) is the idea of a permanent union. God wants men and women to come together and have sex (become one flesh), and He wants them to remain together, continuing to have sex. The marriage covenant is a covenant or contract to remain together permanently, as husband and wife, either until death or throughout all eternity. It is the fleeting, temporary nature of fornication that makes it wrong.

When two people come together and make love, the love demonstrated and generated is intended by God to continue on forever. It is supposed to remain. The marriage bonds keep people connected (and gathered) so that they continue to nurture and grow the love generated between them. God is love, so the scriptures say, therefore, He is all-loving and never stops loving. To come together and make love and then leave (separate from one another) is akin to stop loving (stop becoming one). God wants us to continue to manifest our love for one another, through the marital covenants. In this way we learn to become like Him, all-loving and continually loving.

No mention of a State licensing requirement

In the scriptures, there is no mention of the need to have a valid state marriage license. All that is needed for a marriage to occur is that there be a marriage covenant between a man and a woman. That’s it. The marriage covenant can be written or verbal. It doesn’t matter. It can be ordained “by thrones, or principalities, or powers,” in other words, by the State, but it doesn’t have to be. It can simply be “ordained of men,” even the two people entering the covenant (the man and the woman), or even by “things of name, whatsoever they may be.”

This means that two people who enter into a marriage covenant with each other, without a State marriage license, without a religious or civil ceremony, the man agreeing to be the woman’s husband and the woman agreeing to be the man’s wife, who then begin living together and making love, presenting themselves publicly as husband and wife, are not living in sin. They are not fornicating. They have nothing to repent of for they have satisfied the conditions of the law of the new and everlasting covenant. Their marriage is ordained of God.

No mention of a wedding ceremony

The scriptures do not state that a wedding ceremony is necessary for a marriage to be valid. Typically, wedding ceremonies do occur, according to the customs of the culture the two people are from, but they are not necessary for a marriage to be valid in the eyes of God. Only the covenant is the necessary part.

No mention of witnesses

A third person can be present while the two make their marriage vows (the marriage covenant), but that is not required by the law of the new and everlasting covenant. They can enter their covenant in private, just the two of them and it’s still valid in the eyes of God.

Conflict between God and the Church

This brings up a conflict because a married couple that does not get State permission to be married is seen differently by God and the Church. In the eyes of God, they are married. In the eyes of the (modern) Church, they are not. (It was not always so.  There was a time when the Church recognized marriages as valid even without a marriage license.)  As the Church holds the keys of the priesthood, despite a couple being validly married in the eyes of God, they can be prohibited from receiving baptism, confirmation, priesthood and the temple sealing, all required ordinances for their salvation. The modern Church, then, in not recognizing a marriage as valid in the same way God does, becomes a stumbling block to their eternal progression.

Consent in marriage

Both before and after a man and a woman come together in holy matrimony (and since all marriage is ordained of God, including non-temple marriage, all matrimony is holy), the law of common consent applies. So, for example, if the couple enters marriage with vows of fidelity, meaning that they promise to abstain from loving (making love to) other people, they must keep their vows. It is the law of the Lord that all our vows and covenants and oaths be kept, for it is a sin to break a vow. Thus, a man must receive consent from his wife to marry a second wife and a woman must receive consent from her husband to marry another husband.

If they enter the marriage with no vows of abstinence and they decide they want more spouses and they receive consent from their current spouses, they may freely marry without sinning. If, on the other hand, they enter the marriage with vows of abstinence and they decide afterward that they want more spouses in their family, they can, with consent, release one another from their vows of abstinence and then consent to additional spouses. This also is not sin, for vows can be freely made and released, as long as the person to whom the vow was made is doing the releasing.

Sin in marriage

The sin of adultery occurs when a married woman is with a man who is not her spouse. Scripturally, all women who enter marriage apparently do so under a vow of abstinence (fidelity), whether they are married by the word of the Lord or not. Therefore, if she is with another man that is not her spouse, she commits adultery.

On the man’s part, it is only if he has taken a vow of abstinence (fidelity) and is with another woman who is not his wife that he commits adultery. If, on the other hand, he has not taken a vow of fidelity, (in other words, his wife gives him permission to sleep around), and is with an unmarried woman who is not his wife, he has committed the sin of fornication (sexual sin) but not adultery unless the other woman who is not his spouse is married to another man, in which case he has committed adultery (See D&C 132: 41-44 and The many definitions of adultery for more on these laws.)

(The above two paragraphs may seem confusing, but it all boils down to this: if you sleep with someone who is your spouse, there is no sin. On the other hand, if you sleep with someone who is not your spouse, you commit sin. So, to avoid sin, either don’t sleep with a person who is not your spouse or marry him or her before engaging in sexual intercourse.)

If a husband separates from his wife or a wife separates from her husband, so as to purposefully and permanently live apart from one another, this also is sin. There is only one scriptural justification for marital separation and that is if the one being left behind has committed unrepentant fornication (sexual sin). The purpose of the temporary separation is to help the sinner to repent of his or her sin. Once repentance occurs, the couple should come together again and be reconciled, forgiving one another.

Polygyny is not sin

And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood—if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else.

And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified. (D&C 132: 61-62; italics added.)

If a woman gives consent to her husband to take additional wives, releasing him from any vows of fidelity he may have had, and giving him permission to marry this or that woman, he is justified in taking on the additional wives, for it is marriage with consent and marriage is ordained of God.

When taking on a second wife, the man needs the consent of the first wife. When taking on a third wife, the man needs the consent of the first two wives, and so on and so forth. As long as all give consent, there is no sin.

Polygyny, whether practiced in the new and everlasting covenant (the law of the priesthood), or practiced in a for-time, man-made covenant, is ordained of God as long as consent is given by the wife or wives of the man.

Polyandry is not sin

In the new and everlasting covenant, there are two ways in which a woman get can an additional husband. One way is that she is simply sealed to a second (or third, etc.) husband.

And as ye have asked concerning adultery, verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man receiveth a wife in the new and everlasting covenant, and if she be with another man, and I have not appointed unto her by the holy anointing, she hath committed adultery and shall be destroyed. (D&C 132: 41; italics added.)

The second way is that her husband breaks his marriage vows and commits adultery, whereby she is taken and given (married) to another man. She remains married to the first husband, for the word ‘taken” doesn’t explicitly mean that she has received a divorce.

And if she hath not committed adultery, but is innocent and hath not broken her vow, and she knoweth it, and I reveal it unto you, my servant Joseph, then shall you have power, by the power of my Holy Priesthood, to take her and give her unto him that hath not committed adultery but hath been faithful; for he shall be made ruler over many. (D&C 132: 44; italics added.)

Outside of the new and everlasting covenant, a woman may obtain a second marriage through consent of her current husband or husbands, in the same way as discussed above for polygyny. Like polygyny, polyandry is ordained of God, as long as consent is given by all parties involved.

Objections to polyandry unfounded

LDS men may object to polyandry based upon the following scripture:

And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood—if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else.

And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified. (D&C 132: 61-62; italics added.)

These verses only state that a man cannot commit adultery with a wife that belongs to him and to no one else. They do not state that a man commits adultery with a wife that belongs to both him and someone else. The gospel is all about joint-ownership, or becoming joint-heirs with Christ of all things that the Father has. There is no gospel law against a wife belonging to two or more husbands, or to a husband belonging to two or more wives. The scriptures do not prohibit such an arrangement. To make this assumption is to wrest them.

Not giving consent to marry is sin

When a man wishes to take an additional wife and his current wife or wives do not give their consent (the keys of this power), they sin because they are forbidding him from marrying, making them not ordained of God. Likewise, when a woman wishes to take an additional husband and her current husband or husbands do not give consent, the husbands become sinners in forbidding her from marrying.

The law of Sarah is applicable to both men and women:

And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, if any man have a wife, who holds the keys of this power, and he teaches unto her the law of my priesthood, as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God; for I will destroy her; for I will magnify my name upon all those who receive and abide in my law.

Therefore, it shall be lawful in me, if she receive not this law, for him to receive all things whatsoever I, the Lord his God, will give unto him, because she did not believe and administer unto him according to my word; and she then becomes the transgressor; and he is exempt from the law of Sarah, who administered unto Abraham according to the law when I commanded Abraham to take Hagar to wife. (D&C 132: 64-65; italics added.)

The transgression consists in forbidding to marry, which makes the person doing the forbidding “not ordained of God.”

A secondary and third transgression

When consent is not given, because marriage is labeled sin, a second transgression occurs: calling that which is holy, or ordained of God, evil. Satan wants no one to be married. He would rather that everyone sleep around without entering into marriage covenants with each other. When monogamy is labeled holy matrimony but polygyny or polyandry is labeled sin, this works into his hands, for then he can tempt mankind to break their marriage vows and commit sin. Giving consent to marry more than one spouse keeps the law of chastity intact, stopping Satan in his tracks.

The third transgression comes from judging others as sinners, who have done no sin. All marriage between a man and woman, whether singly or in multiple spouse form, is ordained of God, but if the multiple spouse form is looked upon as sin, or if a marriage without a marriage license is looked upon as sin, then the people who engage in these righteous practices will be looked upon as sinners.

Plural marriage engenders charity

In particular, modern LDS need to stop painting plural marriage (the multiple-husband multiple-wife marriage system) as undesirable or evil. Under such a system, children have multiple fathers and multiple mothers (though only one biological mother). Any husband will look upon all children born to his wives as his children, regardless of whether they are his biological seed or not. This engenders charity, because all husbands/fathers will care for all the children, not just their own. In other words, all children will become alike to them:

And I am filled with charity, which is everlasting love; wherefore, all children are alike unto me; wherefore, I love little children with a perfect love; and they are all alike and partakers of salvation. (Moro. 8: 17.)

Plural marriage retains agency

Agency remains fully intact with plural marriage consent, allowing people to open up their hearts and love those around them in the most intimate manner possible, all the while remaining justified before the Lord. This more fully knits people’s hearts together in unity. Without such consent, love must be limited, even if the desire to love more fully exists, which also limits agency and causes distance between people.

Plural marriage creates Zion

And ye shall hereafter receive church covenants, such as shall be sufficient to establish you, both here and in the New Jerusalem. (D&C 42: 67.)

There are certain covenants given to the Gentile Mormons that are sufficient to establish them in Zion. One is the law of consecration, in which they freely share of their substance. Another is the United Order, in which they bind themselves by covenant to establish Zion. Yet another is the new and everlasting covenant of marriage (plural marriage) in which they freely give of their love and hearts in plural marriages, essentially sharing their spouses with other spouses.

Of the three covenants, though, plural marriage is probably the most powerful, for if one is able to give consent to freely share one’s spouse with other spouses, effectively eliminating all jealousy and envy, sharing everything else would be a snap.

Plural marriage corresponds to nature

As the research revealed in the book Sex at Dawn reveals, by nature mankind’s sexuality is a multiplemale-multiplefemale mating system. God has ordained marriage to exactly correspond to our natural sexual desires and nature, so that we may live out our lives free from guilt and shame, in joy, happiness and pleasure.

Plural marriage causes rapid formation of super-strong tribes

Because marriage bonds go in every direction, everyone becomes related to everyone else, in the most intimate way. The concept of distant relations becomes blurred, as all become intimate members of one’s immediate family through marriage. The group, being linked in this way, becomes and acts as a tribe, but also as an intimate family, everyone seeking the interest of his neighbor, for his neighbor is a close family relation.

Instead of tribes growing slowly as tribal members have children who grow up and marry and have children of themselves, plural marriage has the ability to rapidly infuse a tribe with large groups of people, while retaining the intimate relationship aspects of the immediate family. Child-birth is maximized, so that every woman who wants children can have as many as she desires, thus allowing the tribe to grow as quickly as possible.

Conclusion

And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man. (D&C 49: 15.)

When taken at face value, the above scripture is plainly shown to be true. Marriage is a divine institution which has been given to us to maximize our happiness here on Earth, in accordance with the principles of nature, and in preparation for glory to be added in heaven. To remain on God’s side on this issue, men, women, parents, churches, the State and spouses need to follow and encourage others to follow this two-step rule:

1) Don’t forbid anyone from marrying (not even your own spouse) and 2) look upon all marriage between a man and a woman as ordained of God.

Inspiration behind this post

I had read the arguments that Christian polygamists make about not needing a valid state marriage license, but had never actually taken the time to do any research and come to any conclusion about it. It was Justin’s Tribal Relationships post that introduced me to the Sex at Dawn research, which, upon reviewing it, got me thinking about what exactly marriage is and what it is all about. This post is a result of my decision to take a look at the scriptures with the Sex at Dawn research in mind. If you still don’t know where I’m coming from, I encourage you to read the following posts, as this article is influenced by, and builds upon, them: Tribal worship services, Establishing the tribes of Israel: the real reason for plural marriage, The tribal nature of the gospel, The Return of Polygamy, The many definitions of adultery, Deep Waters: How many wives? How many husbands?, and An alternate view of the keys.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

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66 Comments

  1. This is a great summation. My mind has been traveling a similar path in regards to this subject. It’s good to see it all coming together.

  2. Whew…. Pretty extreme stuff. Why is it that I am much more comfortable with my wife allowing me to take another wife than me allowing her to take another husband… I guess I am just a hypocrite…=)

  3. Your comments, meaning that they promise to abstain from loving (making love to) other people — which equates the act of making love to actual loving of a person reminded me of something I have in my notes but that I didn’t include in the Tribal Relationships post. So I’ll include it here:

    The sexual union is the chief means of demonstrating love for another person. It is the loving bond and unity aspect of human sexual relations – as opposed to procreation – that separates us from animals.
    Adam and Eve began their life in open and fearless fellowship – first with Father and secondly with each other. Thus, their transgression produced two alienations: first from Father – as indicated by their hiding from His presence, and secondly from each other – as indicated by the hiding of their nakedness from each other. So, restoring the kingdom of God will do two things: restore both man and woman to Father and restore man and woman to union with each other.
    The genitals have three purposes: urinary, reproductive, and unification. Thus, these organs produce three things: urine, semen/eggs, and communal adhesion. These three purposes are physiologically distinct one from another. The organs of reproduction – testes and ovaries/uterus – are not the organs of the sexual union. The unity of the organs is as distinct from reproduction as that is from urinating.
    Since seminal discharge can be induced without a sexual connection, then the pleasure associated with the discharge is not a part of sexual union – it is rather intercourse’s end or sequel. The pleasure can be induced in complete solitude – yet it is supposed to accompany the unification of two personages.

    Don’t sow seed by the wayside. Don’t sow seed where it isn’t wished to grow.

  4. “Whew…. Pretty extreme stuff. Why is it that I am much more comfortable with my wife allowing me to take another wife than me allowing her to take another husband… I guess I am just a hypocrite…=)”

    I do not see it as hypocrisy. I see it as cultural conditioning. These conditions go something like this:

    Christian Culture
    1) Monogamy alone (with a valid state marriage license) is ordained of God. Every other type of marriage arrangement is wickedness.

    Mormon Culture
    1) Monogamous temple marriage (with a valid state marriage license) for time and all eternity is ordained of God.

    2) Monogamous non-temple marriage (with a valid state marraige license) for time only is second-rate marriage, but okay for non-members, but when members do it it is wickedness and demonstrates their disobedience and lack of faith. This type of marriage is not ordained of God (for God wants none of His childrend to be married this way), but is ordained of man.

    3) Monogamous non-temple marriage (without a valid state marriage license) is not marriage but is the sin of fornication and makes a mockery of marriage. People who engage in this behavior will burn in hell if they do not repent. God does not condone such acts.

    4) Polygynous non-temple marriage (with valid state marriage licenses) is breaking the laws of the State. The first marriage is valid, second-rate marriage, but all the other marriages are void and sinful. These people are breaking the laws of the land. They deserve to burn in hell and rot in prison.

    5) Polygynous non-temple marriage (without a valid state marriage license) is not marriage. It is fornication. These people deserve to burn in hell.

    6) Polyandrous non-temple marriage (with or without valid state marriage licenses). This is the same as #4 and #5 above. Not ordained of God and never will be.

    Exceptions

    7) Polygynous temple marriage (during the time it was practiced by the church), for time and all eternity, was ordained of God, even though the State never recognized any of these marriages as none of them ever had valid state marriage licenses, and if they did, they were breaking the laws of the land. All of the people who practiced this type of marriage in the past, with the approval of the church authorities, deserve to become exalted and, if they broke the law by getting multiple marriage licenses, they deserve to escape prison.

    In a legal environment…

    In a legal environment, in which polygyny and polyandry and group marriage and same-sex marriage are all legal and allowed, our Mormon (and Christian) culture still sees all of this as wickedness and fornication and not valid in the eyes of God.

    We are conditioned to believe that polygyny is okay ONLY if God commands it and that polyandry is never going to be okay because God would never command it, but if in the rare ocasion He ever did (which He won’t) , it would ONLY be valid at His command. For man to enter into polygynous, polyandrous and/or group marriages on his own, without God commanding it through the prophet, is iniquity. The only type of marriage that God permits mankind to enter into on his own (without the Priesthood sealing) is monogamy.

    Sister Wives
    I was watching The Learning Channel’s Sister Wives program the other day and this cultural conditioning was totally manifest when the husband Kody was asked by his first wife Meri how he would feel if instead of him courting a fourth wife and kissing her (while she is still just a girlfriend), she (Meri) courted and kissed another husband/boyfriend. His reaction was instantaneous. He didn’t want to imagine it. The very thought of it was repulsive because it was morally wrong. He said he felt like a hyprocrite saying it, because it obviously was not a fair arrangement, but he couldn’t help but see it as sin. The only justification he could come up with (the justification he always used on these women) was that they agreed to the arrangement, they had full knowledge of what they were getting into and agreed to enter it.

    So, Kody demostrated an internal conflict right in front of the cameras. His brain was telling him two different things: the arrangement was unfair (unjust), but morally correct (just). He wasn’t able to set aside his cultural conditioning. He felt like a hypocrite, but still acted out his hypocrisy because of the culture. And because no one forced the women into the unfair arrangement, because they used their agency to choose it, this soothed his conscience about it.

    I would love to know how Kody or other polygynists would respond to the information in this post. I wonder if they would merely fall back onto their cultural conditioning or if they would open up the scriptures to refute it.

  5. No I think you have it wrong.

    We read in D&C 49:18 And whoso forbiddeth to abstain from meats, that man should not eat the same, is not ordained of God;

    If we look at the footnote for forbiddeth it really means biddeth. God didn’t know what he was talking about when He gave this revelation. Thankfully we had Bruce to straighten it out.

    Surely when God said, “And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man. ” It really means:

    “And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso [biddeth] to marry[(but only in cases of polygamy)] is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man. ”

    That’s the only REAL interpretation that makes sense. For over one hundred years God has, contradicted his four previous revelations and, forbidden polygamy. His prophet told me so. And any one who biddeth to marry in polygamy is not ordained of God. I know that when the prophet tells us to do something and it is against God’s will, and he has a twinkle in his eye, then we will be blessed.

    “Follow the prophet, follow the prophet, follow the prophet,…”

    Ok sorry i couldn’t resist. In all seriousness this post was awesome. That is one of the first things I had myself overcome before I allowed myself to seek after Plural Marriage. I had to make myself accept the possiblity of my wife marrying another man. Still it’s just in theory but I think I would be ok with that. i certainly can’t expect her to allow me to marry another woman if I would not allow her to marry another man.

    I wish you would have talked a bit more about the Law of Sarah, in that when a woman forbids her husband from marrying another woman he doesn’t not need her consent to marry again 132:65. You touched on it a bit but never really expounded upon it.

    I really wish I could compress this post and make it into a little pamphlet or something and pass it out to people, or leave it in car windows at church. Wilford woodruff approved of marrying by mutual covenant(concubinage) without priesthood sealing as a way for the saints to practice Plural Marriage when the Manifesto was in force.

  6. Zo-ma-rah:

    Might I suggest you also send it to members of your ward anonymously thru the mail.

  7. You mentioned Section 42, as being the law of Zion. That section goes against what you say:

    A spouse – Every man who forbids his wife from marrying another man and every woman who forbids her husband from marrying another woman is also not ordained of God when they do this.”

    Section 42 says, 22 Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else.

    That being the Law of the Law of Consecration, it doesn’t include polygamy.

    Also read One Who is Watching’s post on Section 132. It is pretty convincing that it is not a true revelation.

    Also, I really resonate with “The Peacemaker”‘s definition of fornication being alienation of a wife’s heart from that of her husband. This is the only valid reason for divorce

  8. I don’t understand — so verse 22 says that a husband should only make love to a woman to whom he is married, and to no other person than that which meets that criteria. If he is married to one, two, or four women, then he is to love and cleave only to women he is married to. Sounds straight forward to me.

    I think we should quit making scriptures say what the words clearly aren’t saying.

  9. http://www.mercyseat.net/BROCHURES/marriagelicense.htm

    I find it interesting to note that the original intent of our government’s marriage licensing law/requirement was created for people who intended to “intermarry” (according to Black’s Law Dictionary).

    Technically and legally, this still holds true to this day, since the orignal marriage licensing law has never been repealed. So, even today, without any fanfare, people of the same race are not legally required to seek a marriage license from the state to get married.

    Knowledge of the lawis a powerful peronsal weapon.

  10. Ditto what Justin said.

    Also, I am not convinced by the things OWIW wrote about polygamy, spiritual wifery, D&C 132, etc. But to each his own. I personally believe that that section is the real deal, a bona fide revelation from God.

    (Anyone who is interested in reading OWIW’s point of view on this topic can click here to review all his writings on it.)

    The book Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy also gives more information on polygamy during the time of Joseph Smith. I found the following quite interesting:

    Cochranism was not the only source of polygamy. Indeed, polygamy was a common subject of discussion in America during the 1830s. Over a hundred different religious colonies or communes in America were practicing some form of polygamy during the years that the Church was being formed. In 1868 William Hepworth Dixon wrote two volumes entitled Spiritual Wives, which gave much information about the various forms of polygamy, spiritual wifery, and like practices during that time.

    Dixon was a distinguished English writer and the editor of the Athenaeum, a literary magazine published in London. He traveled extensively in America gathering facts about polygamous groups, and even visited Salt Lake City where he interviewed Brigham Young. Dixon wrote:

    A few words dropt by Brigham Young, in the course of a long reply to questions of mine on another point, told me that the Mormon Pope knew more than could be found in books about that doctrine of the Spiritual wife, which, in our own day, in the midst of our churches, and chiefly, if not wholly, among men of Teutonic race, has flowered out into so many new and surprising domestic facts: at Salt Lake City into Polygamy; among the New England spiritual circles into Affinities; at Mount Lebanon into Celibate Love; at Wallingford and Oneida Creek [New York] into Complex Marriage, and in a hundred American cities into some more or less open form of Free Love. (William Hepworth Dixon, Spiritual Wives 1:79)

    Dixon’s statement that some form of spiritual wifery was being practiced “in a hundred American cities” will no doubt be surprising to many. However, other writers confirm his findings.

    (Taken from Chapter 5 of that book.)

    Concerning this, I wrote (on zo-ma-rah’s blog) the following:

    Rock, I just finished speed-reading the Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy (online) book. I remain unpersuaded in their conclusions, although the polygamy research was fascinating. I was not aware that so many groups were practicing (or attempting to practice) polygamy around that time. I now wonder, based upon Justin’s post about the Sex at Dawn research, if all these people being inspired to take more spouses wasn’t the Spirit of the Lord working on them, as opposed to the spirit of the devil, as claimed by the authors. Marriage is ordained of God, is it not? Why would Satan inspire a man and a woman to marry? Satan is all about separation and divorce, not having people enter into marriage covenants.

    In addition to the (non-Mormon) American polygamy “movements” during the time of Joseph Smith, there was also a movement in England around that same time, according to the Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy book. And we know that Mormon polygamy has persisted to this very day. But now we’ve got a new movement: Christian polygamy. So, we find both Christians and Mormons, not to mention the Muslims, espousing polygamy during all these different times. What gives? Are we just to assume that it is all of the devil?

    Finally, the Sex at Dawn book comes along and shows a scientific basis for all of this.

    If you take a look at marriage from an agency stand point, and we know that it was the devil’s desire to destroy agency, monogamy is the devil’s tool of choice, because it limits the agency of both parties in respect to everyone else. This creates an environment of equality, both equally yoked with slavery, being slaves to each other. Polygyny and polyandry would come in second, because it limits the agency of only one of the sexes in respect to everyone else, while unfettering the agency of the other sex. Plural marriage would be the worst thing the devil would want, as no one’s agency is limited. No one becomes a slave to anyone else.

    So, I don’t think it is quite as black and white to say that monogamy is holy matrimony and every other type of marriage is inspired of the devil.

    Lastly, I still haven’t read The Peacemaker so I can’t comment on it. I know that you mentioned it on this blog once before, but I still haven’t gotten around to reading it.

  11. Regarding this post, I agree , Joseph Smith the exampelar of the restoration set in motion these concepts in his own life besides in the written scriptures D&C 49 and 132. He had approximately 11 wives (of the roughly 34 well documented wives) who had other husbands and I have heard he was encouraging Emma to take William Law at one time as an additional husband.

    There is another appearantly less known situation in which Joseph was sealing men to men. Brigham Young understood it to be in a patriarchal manner (father to son, son to father) of men who were not related closely by blood, Brigham called Adoption or the law of Adoption.
    In giving a funeral sermon for Lorenzo Barnes and Jennette Bates on April 16, 1843, Joseph told Marcellus Bates ( the widower of Jennette)…. “you shall soon have the company of your companion in a world of glory–& the friend of Bro. Barns.”(Joseph Smith Diary, by Willard Richards 16 April 1843 Sunday Morning). Earller in Willards report on this discourse he reports Joseph as saying….”when we lie down we contemplate how we may rise up in the morning and it is pleasing for friends to lie down together locked in the arms of love, to sleep, & locked in each others embrace & renew their conversation”.
    In Wilford Woodruff’s account of this discourse, he reports Joseph saying ….”To bring to understanding it would be upon the same principle as though two who were vary friends indeed should lie down upon the same bed at night locked in each other embrace talking of their love & should awake in the morning together they could immedialtely renew their conversation of love even while rising from their bed…” (Wilford Wooduff journal, April 16, 1843)
    Both referances found in “The Words of Joseph Smith”, 1980 by Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook. One will note that in the Richard’s account, the “friend” of Bro. Barns is in the same catagorie as Marcellus Bates. Who was this friend? Was this person male of female?; Obviously being in the audience! No reference to the genders of the “friends” here in either account. Wilford Woodruff has Joseph saying they were “vary friends indeed” I would think Joseph would say something like the betrothed of Bro Barnes or wife or widow, if the person were female.
    It just so happens that we find in D&C 76: 94-95 The Lord reveals to Joseph that in the Celestial degree of glory those there are the church of the Firstborn and He makes them equal in power and in might, and in dominion. There is no ranking one above another or below another. Therefore Brigham’s view of a patriarchal order for the Law of adoption(sealing men to men) could not be correct. All the ordinances of the House of the Lord even baptism pertain to the celestial glory or kingdom. If no ranking then what could be the relationship of two men sealed together??; how about two women sealed ???
    I am sure Joseph in correcting and translating the King James version of the Bible found himself pondering the very interesting, loving, covenanted relationship of David and Jonathan of which the Lord found favor, recorded in 1st and 2nd Samuel. He must also have been drawn to the story of Ruth’s earnest request not to separate from Naomi, the fidelity and oath she gave to Naomi even though their ages were of a generation apart and Ruth being a daughter in law to Naomi due to the passing of her husband, Naomi’s deceased son, and Ruth then marrying again. All found in “The Book of Ruth”

    Joseph’s watchful eye, I am sure, found its way as he worked on with the new translation, to Matthew wherein chapter 19 vs 1-12 must have caused pause regarding Jesus answer to the pharisees regarding marriage and divorce and to His disciples about the eunuchs recorded in vs 12. Jesus mentions 3 classes of eunuchs, one “were so born from their mother’s womb”

    I am very sure Joseph sought light and Knowledge from the Lord on all of these points, as well as many others, and thus he developed the vision he manifested by doing what he did, saying what he said and was reflected in his written revelations.

    To me the gospel of Jesus Christ is not exclusive, but totally inclusive by the great divine love shown forth through the Master.

  12. I have heard he was encouraging Emma to take William Law at one time as an additional husband.

    That is referenced in D&C 132:51
    A commandment I give unto mine handmaid, Emma Smith, your wife, whom I have given unto you, that she stay herself and partake not of that which I commanded you to offer unto her.

    The offering was of second husband.

  13. A multihusband-multiwife marriage arrangement might pose some theological questions. For example, if the primary marriage pair is sealed in the temple, all the children who come from the relationship are born under the covenant. But what happens if the wife afterward makes a marriage covenant with a second husband, but is not sealed to him? Will all of her future children still be born under the covenant even though she is sealed to only one of her husbands?

    I have heard that if children are sealed to their parents, and then their parents get a temple divorce, the children still remained sealed (to the mother), but I don’t know if this is true. If so, then children born under the covenant would have no problem in a multihusband-multiwife marriage arrangement, because their biological mother would be the link that bound them to whichever husbands were also sealed to her. In the case of a divorced or widowed or single woman with children who marries (is sealed to) a man, her children would get sealed to both her and her husband, but what if she marries (is sealed to) a second husband? Would her children need to have a second sealing ceremony performed to seal them to her and the second husband? If, in fact, it is the mother that is the link through which children are sealed, then such children would not need to be sealed a second time to the second husband.

    So, if our sealing system is indeed based upon the mother (in regard to children), then it might be evidence that a multihusband-multiwife marriage system is the natural, or intended, order of things, because it makes it easier to administer and keep track of sealings in a plural spouse system.

    Plural marriage also opens up the possibility of marrying someone you really like, but whose religious views do not exactly match your own, without losing your exaltation. I, personally, have been in the situation in which I found a girl that I wanted to marry, but as I had but one shot at celestial marriage, and this girl was not of my religion, I had to pass her by. But if the possibility of having more than one spouse (husband or wife) is available, one can be sealed to one spouse, thus obtaining the promises of the new and everlasting covenant, while marrying another spouse (an unbeliever) for the duration of mortality.

    With this in view, the writings of Paul come to my mind:

    But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace. For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife? (1 Cor. 7: 12-16)

    Marriage, then, can become a source of missionary work without risking one’s exaltation.

  14. Man, where were you when I blew that 15 bucks on my marrige license 31 years ago ?

  15. For example, if the primary marriage pair is sealed in the temple, all the children who come from the relationship are born under the covenant. But what happens if the wife afterward makes a marriage covenant with a second husband, but is not sealed to him? Will all of her future children still be born under the covenant even though she is sealed to only one of her husbands?

    I know that to currently be the practice in the Church. If a woman divorces a man but doesn’t have the sealing removed, then any future children born to a new husband are considered to be born under the sealing to the ex-husband.

  16. It seems in the early church(in theory at least) that in case of a seperation the children remained sealed to the husband as his posterity. There were some cases where the man a woman was sealed to died. Another man would be sealed to her(usually for time only, I think). Then the children born from that union were counted as the posterity of the first husband. The woman was usually sealed to a man who already had wives so that he would already have posterity of his own.

    That I think is an interesting idea. Having biological children that are your own but are counted as the posterity of another man.

  17. Some may think in terms that the church has codified, but that the Prophet Joseph, as far as I can find, did not. Two words “of marriage” added to “The New and Everlasting Covenant”, thus ” The New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage”. My source for this is “The Revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith” first Pub. 1981, by Lyndon W. Cook.
    The New and Everlasting Covenant, it being new to this dispensation, however everlasting, was set forth by The Lord, through the Prophet Joseph Smith In D&C 132 verse 4 as “a new and everlasting covenant” and verse 6 as… ” ‘the new and everlasting covenant’, it was instituted for the fulness of my glory, and he that receiveth a fulness thereof must and shall abide the law of he shall be damned”…
    Then in verse 7 The Lord explains the conditions of this law(the new and everlasting covenant). It includes synonyms for the words agreement and promise, existing connections and associations and future realizations of connections and associations; It seems like just about every type of linking one could think of.
    In any good english dictionary the word marriage I have found has a definition something like this, “any close union” along the commonly understood definition of “relation between husband and wife”. Well the Lord, according to Joseph Smith, seems to me to be showing forth the ulimate truth in what Joseph did and what asked (commanded) those closest to him to do. That is to realize and acknowledge that all are everlastingly connected or linked. He appearently refered to the action of doing so as sealing, all types, in multiple and diverse ways . Joseph started with those who were his intimates who he felt individually had the awakening of spirit enough make these promises one to one and to more than one, a multiplicity of unions

    Benjamin F Johnson, one of Joseph’s younger intimates, recalling the saints in the mid 1830’s through to Joseph’s death (1844), as he recollected those events, later, at the age of 85, in 1903, wrote ” ‘The Prophet’s teaching of love'” was not to work upon the sympathies and sensibilties of the people, but (it was rather) by his great example and self sacifice, and in showing us that while all the world was against us, (that) our only hope was in our union, and that union was only possible as the fruit of love our for each other, …. that (we) were but parts of a great whole , mutually and equally dependent upon each other, according to conditions.
    Now to the beginning point, the addition of the word “of marriage” D&C section 131vs2 added to the new and everlasting covenant

  18. added to the “new and everlasting covenant” in the 1876 edition of the D&C, limited the scope of this Law to one man and plural wives and later to one man and one wife

    Sorry I accidentally submitted comment before completion

  19. This topic is currently being discussed here:
    http://www.wheatandtares.org/2010/10/21/younger-and-blonder-wives/

  20. Concerning polyandry and D&C 132: 41

    On another blog, SUNNofaB.C.Rich said (in comment #71), responding to a comment Justin had made (comment #70):

    Sure thing, sport. Til death do us part polyandry results in destruction! (D&C 132:41) for a woman. Til death do us part polygyny is good to go, no problemo (according to you).

    Apparently God is the one forbidding to marry (til death do us part, polyandry type)

    Not a case for tribal plural marriage (besides, that’s a lot of red tape for an “anarchist” isn’t it?) simply justification, possibly after the fact? for Joe Smith to “get with” some other chicks.

    Afterward, I responded with my own comment (comment #72) in this way:

    SUNNofaB.C.Rich, your comment reminded me of something Derek P. Moore once wrote,

    No marriages are ever “for time only”, all marriages become celestial marriages. Have you forgotten the millennial sealings? All marriages will be made eternal in the Millennium, even if our Church and membership can’t understand this right now. “For time” sealings are celestial marriages.

    All ordinances for all people must be performed, because the final judgment cannot occur until the entire kingdom has been prepared for judgment by the performance of all ordinances (if Christ does not present a perfected kingdom for judgment, then he and his atonement are not perfect). This includes all endowments, all sealings, all second anointings, all adoptions, etc.

    A woman can have only one “for time and all eternity” sealing while living, her other sealings are “for time”. Women in our Church have had multiple husbands while all husbands were still alive, even if our Church and membership can’t remember this right now.

    Sorry to be a stickler and so ready to argue over this, but my mother will soon have two celestial marriages (my father “ft&ae” and her husband “ft”), and when her and her husbands are dead it will be made three celestial marriages and her one “ft” will be made “ft&ae”, and all the misunderstanding in the world isn’t going to stop it from being true. I obviously feel very strongly about this, two divorces have given me two additional fathers — and I have come to know that these men are my fathers for eternity, even if my family can’t perform the law of adoption ordinances ourselves because our Church is so full of misunderstanding. I am happy to imagine that my issue will correct our mistakes through the right performance of ordinances in the millennium.

    I think his comment applies to D&C 132: 41. The Lord doesn’t want any of his daughters to be destroyed, right? Good thing all those polyandrous “’til death do us part” marriages will eventually get sealed for time and all eternity.

    Thus we see that God forbids no one to marry.

  21. Justin, I engaged in a brief conversation with you about blond wives over at Wheat and Tares. I owe you an apology. The tone of my comment was sort of a knee-jerk reaction and wasn’t very tolerant, nor reflective of how I would talk to someone in real life. I do appreciate your posts here as an intellectual exercise, and your comments tend to be more thoughtful than most.

  22. Rebecca,

    I appreciate you coming to this post to tell me that. I held no ill-feelings towards you mostly b/c I have come to expect such reactions from people. I understand your reaction and am thankful to read your acknowledgments above.

    (The conversation mentioned by Rebecca can be found here, starting at comment #16.)

  23. Lol. Justin, it appears that Rebecca thinks that this post was written by you.

  24. Perhaps, I linked to both this post — as well as to my Tribal Relationships post at the Wheat and Tares discussion.

  25. Both articles were linked in the discussion and then I overlooked authorship, thinking they were both written by Justin. The anarchy symbol you use as a header falls directly above the body of the posts, regardless of contributor, and that was a little confusing too. Nice to see you over at Exponent.

  26. I feel it worthwhile to add to this post’s comments the information I added elsewhere as it really applies to this post.

    Regarding temple sealings of deceased members the LDS Church Handbook of Instructions says:

    Deceased Women
    A deceased woman may be sealed to all men to whom she was legally married during her lifetime. However, if she was sealed to a husband during her life, all her husbands must be deceased before she may be sealed to a husband to whom she was not sealed during her life.
    Deceased Men.
    A deceased man may have sealed to him all women to whom he was legally married during his life if they are deceased of if they are living and are not sealed to another man.
    Deceased couple who were divorced may be sealed by proxy.

  27. One thing I don’t read discussed here is that a woman is too “be” married to a man. She doesn’t “marry” a man. Only men “marry”. They are not to “be” married to women. So that blows this out of the water as far as women “marrying” other men. Women, don’t marry, they are given in marriage, or they are to “be” married.

  28. HRLM — I’m wondering if you could provide a source for:

    [A woman] doesn’t “marry” a man. Only men “marry”.

    I ask b/c I understand marriage to be a covenant between a man and a woman. It comes as a consequence of the free-will and choice of both the man and the woman. It is a covenant designed to make permanent the love that is manifested when the sexual natures of the two genders come together. Marriage is about staying unified beyond the initial sexual unification.

    I read this post earlier today. Perhaps you should read the author’s arguments for why he and his girlfriend chose a multimale-multifemale [polyamorous] relationship.

    Concerning monogamy, the author wrote:

    I’m totally fine with people who choose monogamy.

    But the key here is choosing. Do you really want to be monogamous?

    Choose monogamy because you want to. Not because your parents tell you to, or the society expects you to, or all your friends and relatives pressure you to get married already and start having kids. Even if your partner wants you to be monogamous – only choose so if you really want to.

    Nobody can make you commit. Sure, they can make you get married, but that’s completely different from psychological commitment. Nobody can make you do that.

    A lot of failed marriages stem from people rushing to get married before being psychologically commited to each other. Sometimes they even feel the lack of commitment and think that marriage will make up for it. It won’t. Marriage is a legal contract, no more, no less. Psychological commitment is completely separate.

    But if you feel committed to your partner, and they feel committed to you, and you both like the idea of monogamy – go for it!

    The D&C 132 model of tribal plural marriage systems fully allows for a man and a woman to come together in the new and everlasting covenant of marriage — and do so with extra vows of fidelity [meaning that they will refrain from loving other people].

    I feel like the Lord’s system of multihusband-multiwife tribes retains the agency of both men and women — while when I read, “Women, don’t marry,” I feel as though this is restricted the agency of women from being able to love more than one person.

    How do you understand it HRLM?

  29. I just received my Winter 2011 issue of Yes Magazine and couldn’t help but stop on the article entitled, Sex without jealousy, Love without ownership. It is an article on ‘open relationships’, ones that sound very similar to what has been discussed on this blog lately. I thought many of you would like to see the positive light being shed on it by a secular magazine.

    You can read the article here. There is also a companion piece that is online only here

  30. PallasAthena:

    Thanks for the links. I do like the title’s idea to think of love without ownership.

    From my perspective — the only thing I have to add concerning “open relationships” is that they are still of a temporary nature. As LDSA wrote in the post:

    The only difference between fornication (unlawful sexual relations) and marriage (lawful sexual relations) is the idea of a permanent union. God wants men and women to come together and have sex (become one flesh), and He wants them to remain together, continuing to have sex. The marriage covenant is a covenant or contract to remain together permanently, as husband and wife, either until death or throughout all eternity. It is the fleeting, temporary nature of fornication that makes it wrong.

    I did link to other sites that discuss the open relationship/polyamorous dating systems on the Tribal Relationships post. However, my interest in their content is purely out of seeing positive light being shed on it by a secular sources. I would be against forms of wife-swapping or multimale-multifemale sexually-active dating relationships — b/c of these systems lack a bond of covenant whereby those who have come together sexually promise to remain together and continue coming together sexually.

  31. Justin,

    I was one of those who rushed into marriage without a psychological commitment to my wife (who is now in relation with another man). I married because I was supposed to. I had served a mission, and next it was time to marry. I was not in love with her. I was more in love (if you can call it that) with myself. I was, and still am very narcissistic. I also had many fantasies about being with men, although I never acted on them. But this is what I brought to the marriage.

    The first ten years were pure hell, but because I was “committed” I stayed in it. Then we started to work together, but the deep passionate love and chemistry was still not present. All the while, we were very active in church. We even home schooled our children. We had twelve children, all of them home births.

    Anyway, after 30 years, she finally left. She said she was crazy about me, but she felt it wasn’t reciprocal. She found a guy who supplied what was missing in me. He adores her, thinks that everything about her is beautiful. So now, as far as things go concerning her and me, she is finished. She feels that what she really wants in a relationship with a man will never be supplied by me. She has also left the church. It never worked for her.

    Anyway, as far as a source to what I was saying in the above comment. Read “The Peacemaker”. I don’t think it was really written by Utney Jacobs. It sounds a lot like the writing style of Joseph Smith. But in it “he” says,

    “The word of God saith, for the wife is bound by the law, as long as her husband liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will, (take notice not to marry) but to be married to whom she will, only in the Lord. 1 Cor. 7:39. This text shows what is meant by her being under the law of her husband; that is, she is not at liberty to be married to another, while she has a lawful husband yet living. And if a man is bound to his wife in the same manner, then is he under the law of his wife. Again: Romans 7:2 For a woman that hath a husband is bound by the law to her husband, as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. But in no place in the holy book do we read that a man is bound by the law of his wife, as long as his wife liveth. Such an idea and law would be and is subversive of all righteous government; and it disorganizes the whole system of truth”

    Anyway, also in the temple ceremony, the wife gives herself to “be” married to her husband, but the husband does not give himself to her, he takes her to be his wife.

    I could not find the peacemaker until I typed in “A little known discourse”. Then it brought it up.

  32. HRLM:

    I appreciate you sharing your story. I would hope that our family would be able to homebirth and homeschool a dozen children.

    The “little known discourse” and the Utney Jacobs vs. Joseph Smith authorship is, of course, a source open for debate.

    However, to address the scripture references made in the quote [1 Cor. 7:39 and Rom. 7:2]:

    Corinthians: In my reading, this seems to be in answer to some related question from the Corinthians concerning whether or not a woman is justified in remarrying after her husband dies. Paul answers in general sense — saying that as long as her husband is living the law binds her to him; but, were he to die, she would then be free to remarry.

    In this, I read that the liberty of a widow is greater than that of a never-married woman — because as an unmarried women, she would remain under the stewardship of her parents. But according to this, a widow is under no stewardship since the death of the husband dissolves the former authority. Thus, a widow is at liberty to marry, or not marry, and to marry whom she pleases — b/c she is not under the authority of her husband’s stewardship.

    Romans: I would read this verse as a specific illustration of the general principle Paul writes in the previous verse. This is again similar to the 1 Cor. 7:39 idea that death dissolves any connections and relations that make law binding in life. A wife is united to a husband; and is under his authority as the steward of the family. The wife, as the concerns of the stewardship, is subject to her husband, in righteousness. Thus, a dead husband has no more authority. The connection from which her prior obligation resulted is dissolved.

    I think it would be helpful to read what I just wrote above in connection with LDSA’s post Wives, follow your husbands! – Patriarchy, androcracy and the egalitarian tribe. Perhaps they might spur more thoughts for you.

  33. but…doesn’t this blow this whole thing apart about women marrying some other man while their husbands are alive? Isn’t a woman under the law of her husband until he is dead?

    The way I see it is that a man can have more than one wife, but a woman can only have one husband who is alive.

    Do you see a way around this?

    The Peacemaker really makes sense to me, as far as law and order go. I would love to live under such a system as set forth therein.

    And when I read it carefully, I saw that the “law of the Lord” as set forth therein concerning marriage really gives the woman and the man a lot of freedom. For example, If a woman alienates her heart from her husband,she has committed fornication (which is not a sin). Her husband is to release her from the marriage. My wife said that she alienated her heart from me on day six of our marriage, but because of pressure from her mother, she stayed in the marriage. Had she read The Peacemaker, she would have asked me to give her a divorcement, and we would have been saved years of hell. Our lives would have been much easier, and our children would not have experienced so much hell through living with us.

    Anyway, I know that I am off the subject. I’ll read the other link you gave.

    Thanks

  34. In my estimation — to be under the law of her husband means that:

    A man married to a woman acts in the office of a bishop. The office of a bishop “is in administering all temporal things” (D&C 107: 68) and in being a common judge. This is the duty of a husband, to provide the temporal (material) necessities of life for his wife and children, and to sit as a judge in his family…
    …When a woman has more than one husband, her husbands form a quorum or council of higher judges. If she acts up, the matter can be taken before a council of her husbands, for judgment.

    However, to say that a woman is incapable of covenanting with more than one man is to forbid to marry — something which is not ordained of God. This is what leads me to believe that the “little known discourse” was not authored by the same man who received the revelation outlining multihusband-multiwife tribal marriage systems in D&C 132.

  35. The Peacemaker is around 40 pages. The “Little Known Discourse” is around 14 pages. I suggest that you read The Peacemaker. I am interested in having it looked at, not in light of who wrote it, but of its doctrinal soundness. I am interested in having the doctrine presented in it compared with what is being presented in these blogs.

    I read that other one that you suggested a while back when it first came out. I also read the blog on charity. I liked the definition of charity that was given. I see in what I am dealing with that I am very selfish.

    Am I just stingy? or is it the nature of a man to be possessive of his woman? What about you? Do you (not “can you”) share your wife with another man? There is a big difference between thinking and hypothesising about it, and actually seeing her fall for another.

    I think it would be easier on me if I had another woman to lie with. Then I would be satisfied and fulfilled, and I would be OK with whatever my wife is doing. I hate lying alone in bed at night, thinking that maybe she is lying with another.

    But that would mean excommunication, and my extended family would probably take the remaining children away from me because of my loose morals.

  36. HRLM:

    I’ll certainly look into reading the Peacemaker and seeing what I make of it doctrinal soundness.

    Am I just stingy?” I’ve written to you elsewhere that I believe that insofar as you dislike your wife being fulfilled thru another man — this is selfish. However, in your situation as you have presented it here — I would also add that to the extent that your wife has just replaced you with another man [instead of adding another husband into your family], that this is likewise selfish on her part.

    We have no other husbands in our family. My wife reads all the posts that I read on this site, and we often discuss the comments I make here. She is at the point where she can acknowledge intellectually that all the things presented here are true — however, she is not comfortable accepting another husband. I have told her that I hold her under no vow of fidelity.

    I think it would be easier on me if I had another woman to lie with. Then I would be satisfied and fulfilled,
    I feel that this is true as well. It appears that your wife is not capable of loving multiple husbands [poly+gamy] — but can only manage to love one at a time [mono+gamy].

    But that would mean excommunication
    If the marriage is unlicensed, then there is very little the Church can do about it — or the state for that matter. Also, as far as I know — having “loose morals” does not constitute probable cause for removing children from a parent’s care. I’m not a legal authority — but I don’t see on what grounds the extended family could take your children from your custody.

  37. Here is the Peace Maker (pamphlet) entry of Wikipedia. (This link includes external links to copies of the pamphlet, for those who wish to read it.) Here are two Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy Vision Articles which mention The Peace Maker: The Apostles Adopted Jacob’s Polygamous Concepts from The Peace Maker and More Evidence That LDS Polygamy Concepts Were Adopted from The Peace Maker.

    When I have some time, I’ll look over that pamphlet.

  38. In my efforts to teach people about plural marriage I have seen that the LDS have not been defending plural marriage but they have been making excuses for it. We think well it was just to raise up seed or to have a bunch of kids quick. Or we say it is like when Abraham was tested to see if he would offer Isaac as a sacrifice. Or newer converts parrot ideas that have no basis in reality.
    All these excuses negate the fact that God loves us and wants us to be like Him. They ignore that the Lord said that He never at any time given a temporal commandment but they are all spiritual (D&C 29). That means all His commandments have an eternal principle involved. So we miss the spiritual principle of plural marriage. We miss the eternal principles involved in it and how it is designed for our eternal happiness.
    The principle is a combination of agency and love. True love for another has at its core the recognition of individual agency of all things. We don’t own anything. We have stewardship over that which we think of as ourselves, our bodies of spirit and flesh and all the entities which comprise them. But we do not have any ownership over other people. A marriage confers upon you the right to serve and love that other person and the right to expect that in return. There is no right of control of them or their abilities. That is the law of agency in action. All inability to accept plural marriage comes from a desire to own and control another child of God.
    The law of love in plural marriage is the willingness and desire to share with others. We need to be willing to share all we have with all others who can be benefited by it.
    We should have learned sharing when we were 3. But I suppose we can share that which we value little, some toy that we are bored with, old canned goods we found in the back of the closet are easy to give to another. Somewhere we find something that is so important to us that we think we have to own it to make sure we never lose access to it.
    But if we truly love others as we love ourselves we are willing to share. By living plural marriage we are given the opportunity to truly put off the natural man who must control their spouse, who can not bear the thought of sharing even when it will bless the lives of the person they claim to love.
    What kind of love do we have? I love a wonderful steak or a sweet pineapple. But that love is purely centered on how those things benefit me. If we love our spouse because of what they provide for us we are not experiencing true love, or the love of God. The love of God asks “what can I do for the benefit of this person?” And that with no thought of reward.
    Plural marriage allows for the complete expression of love for other people. Can we suppose ourselves worthy and ready to live in the same kingdom as Abraham and Sarah, Moses and Zipporah and Jacob and Rachel who all lived and still live plural marriage if we reject the practice?

  39. Great reply dyc. In teaching others about Plural Marriage, I read something recently and the Spirit confirmed it to me. We read in Jacob 2 that Plural Marriage is about raising up seed to God. Yet on average Plural Marriage or polygamy usually result in fewer children. Especially in the case of polyandry. Joseph Smith only had children through Emma. Abraham only had a couple kids. When we define raising up seed as having lots of kids, or building the church quickly it just doesn’t make sense.

    But what I read and what the Spirit told me made perfect sense. And you probably already know this. But raising up righteous seed does not mean raising up “many” seed. I means just that, raising “righteous” seed. What Jacob 2 is saying is that any time the Lord will have children raised to be righteous he will Command Plural Marriage. Plural Marriage is not about the number of children, but about the conditions which will help children become righteous people.

    Once the Spirit revealed this to me it was amazing. Tons of thing,s all of a sudden, made perfect sense.

    Members of the church and eh world can continue to try an explain away Plural Marriage. But none of the explanations fit. they can never find that one answers that satisfies why it was practiced. I’ll tell you the answers is right in Jacob 2. Plural Marriage is commanded so that the seed we raise will be righteous! There has not been one revelation to stop the practice of Plural Marriage! Don’t believe me? Then find one. All those that the Lord has commanded to practice Plural Marriage must do so. And the Lord has said, all those who hinder the Saints from Practicing this principle will be damned(Wilford Woodruff 1880 revelation).

  40. But raising up righteous seed does not mean raising up “many” seed. I means just that, raising “righteous” seed.

    Good call. I could imagine the Duggar family on TLC laughing at the Sister Wives family — b/c here these Mormons say that the purpose of their polygamy is to multiply and replenish the earth [raise up righteous seed, etc.] — yet the Duggar family has had twice the children with only a one wife system.

    There has not been one revelation to stop the practice of Plural Marriage! Don’t believe me? Then find one.

    Gordon Hinckley addressed “What Are People Asking about Us?” in an October 1998 general conference. One of the questions addressed polygamy:

    Question 4: What is the Church’s position on polygamy?

    We are faced these days with many newspaper articles on this subject. This has arisen out of a case of alleged child abuse on the part of some of those practicing plural marriage.

    I wish to state categorically that this Church has nothing whatever to do with those practicing polygamy. They are not members of this Church. Most of them have never been members. They are in violation of the civil law. They know they are in violation of the law. They are subject to its penalties. The Church, of course, has no jurisdiction whatever in this matter.

    If any of our members are found to be practicing plural marriage, they are excommunicated, the most serious penalty the Church can impose. Not only are those so involved in direct violation of the civil law, they are in violation of the law of this Church. An article of our faith is binding upon us. It states, “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law” (A of F 1:12). One cannot obey the law and disobey the law at the same time.

    There is no such thing as a “Mormon Fundamentalist.” It is a contradiction to use the two words together.

    More than a century ago God clearly revealed unto His prophet Wilford Woodruff that the practice of plural marriage should be discontinued, which means that it is now against the law of God. Even in countries where civil or religious law allows polygamy, the Church teaches that marriage must be monogamous and does not accept into its membership those practicing plural marriage.

    His point is very telling — so he frames his answer first in terms of the civil illegality of people obtaining more than one state-issued marriage license. “The Church, of course, has no jurisdiction whatever in this matter,” he says — to wipe his hands of the matter.

    Yet — as if realizing the loophole he might have just opened up for members in nations that do not outlaw plural marriages, as well as any who might try to skip state-authorization for a plural union [thus rendering the additional spouse fully legal] — he makes sure to add: “Not only are those so involved in direct violation of the civil law, they are in violation of the law of this Church.

    Oh really, and what what basis would that be? “More than a century ago God clearly revealed unto His prophet Wilford Woodruff that the practice of plural marriage should be discontinued, which means that it is now against the law of God.

    Oh, you mean the “revelation” in which it states:

    To Whom It May Concern:

    Inasmuch as laws have been enacted by Congress forbidding plural marriages, which laws have been pronounced constitutional by the court of last resort, I hereby declare my intention to submit to those laws, and to use my influence with the members of the Church over which I preside to have them do likewise.

    What circular reasoning we have here. Wilford says that since its against the laws of the state, then it would be best if the saints stop doing it. Then Gordon says that since Wilford said we shouldn’t, then it doesn’t matter if it’s against the laws of the state or not.

  41. Too true, Justin. Yet even though Gorden Hinckley “wish[ed] to state categorically” the Word of the Lord is found no where in his statement. He said that it was “I”(meaning Gordon Hinckley) who was saying these things. God’s word trumps the words of men.

    Even Wilford Woodruff claimed a revelation, yet the Manifesto is not a revelation. It is Brother Wilford’s “advice.” God’s word trumps the words of men.

    Sometimes I wonder if Wilford Woodruff really did receive a revelation. If he did, perhaps the reason it has never been made known(was it even recorded), is because it reaffirmed that God will never d away with Plural Marriage. Wilford could have been telling the truth about receiving a revelation, but just happened to neglect mentioning what the content of the revelation was. After all, I can never lead you astray.

  42. Oops. There should be a period between the word ‘categorically’ and the closing quotation mark.

  43. My own conclusion concerning Wilford and his choice to submit the manifesto would probably warrant an entire post — but, to be brief:

    Given the nature of the 19th century LDS doctrine of an imminent return of the Savior – Woodruff’s conclusion was probably inevitable anyway. Since “the church” had to be on the earth to greet Christ at his Second Coming – the abandonment of everything but the church organization was acceptable to him. Thus, the political kingdom of God, plural marriage, and economic consecration could all go — but Woodruff could not allow the state to destroy the church without at the same time abandoning all hope of Christ’s Millennial coming.

    As the visible expression of Christ’s kingdom here on earth, “the church” had to continue to exist in order to provide the saving ordinances of the temple and to supply church members to staff the kingdom. Thus, far from abandoning his hope in the coming of Christ, I think Woodruff saw his manifesto as a reaffirmation of this basic conviction — i.e. Christ’s return is so near, that anything is worth keeping the state from seizing everything because at His coming, it can all be brought back into practice.

    Up until 1890, the belief in the imminence of the Second Coming, the destruction of all worldly governments, and the need for saints to gather together in Zion played a huge role in Mormonism. In essence, what Woodruff had accomplished with his manifesto was a compromise with the state that he felt could buy the church the time needed to fulfill its millennial expectations.

    Maybe I’m giving him too much credit — but from what I’ve read about the history of this subject — I think that Woodruff would be surprised to see that Christ didn’t return at the turn of the century, and therefore his bowing the knee to the state didn’t pay off the way he hoped it would.

  44. Yeah, that sounds right. And I don’t think Wilford was a horrible person for the Manifesto. After all Plural Marriage did continue in secret after the Manifesto. It was was during Heber Grant that the Manifesto is misconstrued and made binding on everyone. It was in Heber Grant the John Taylor’s prophecy was fulfilled.

    So while Wilford Woodruff may have made a few choices that may or may not have helped save the Church it was Heber Grant that finalized the almost complete Apostasy of the Church. Heber Grant is like the Emperor Constantine of the LDS Church.

  45. HRLM,

    I’m still going through The Peace Maker but I noticed that it opened up with Malachi 4: 5-6.

    5 ¶Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:

    6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

    This scripture is interpreted by the church as being the temple sealing power, sealing husbands to wives, wives to husbands, parents to children, and children to parents, as eternal families, linking us all together from Adam to the end, as a chain of fathers.

    What I find particularly interesting is that if you look at the verses as if they are talking of a “nuclear” family, meaning husband, wife and children, it gives the picture of polyandry (multiple husbands, or “fathers,”) not of polygyny (multiple wives/mothers.)

  46. That’s interesting. I get you are saying that if you take this verse to be coming from the context of the nuclear family, then each child will have multible fathers.

    You can also look at it inside the context of the generational family, and each child has a father, grandfather, great grandfather, etc.

    Keep reading, and offering comments. I interesting in what you get.

  47. I mean, “I’m interested in what you get”.

  48. What about verse 16?

    Wherefore, it is lawful that he should have one wife…

    Also, as it was brought up in the Priesthood offices in a tribal setting post — I’m wondering about the

    husband of one wife

    phrase.

    Are these minimal standards — i.e that he be the husband to at least one wife?

    Also: read this on the Church(TM) Guide to the Scriptures online:

    New and everlasting covenant of marriage:

    Marriage performed under the law of the gospel and the holy priesthood is for mortal life and for eternity. Worthy men and women thus sealed in the temple in marriage may continue as husband and wife throughout eternity.

    Thus, this supports what LDSA wrote at the Wheat and Tares post on plural marriages:

    I don’t find the tribal model all that radical as some make it out to be. The current practice of the church is to allow a man to be sealed to multiple wives, just not at the same time or while all of them are living. If his first wife dies, he can be sealed to a second wife, and so on and so forth. With women, they are sealed to all of their dead husbands when they die. So, if a woman is married in life to 7 husbands (serial monogamy), and then she dies, she is vicariously sealed to all 7 of her husbands. Everybody eventually will be sealed to every person they ever married, regardless of how they married, for all marriages that are entered into “until death do them part” will be sealed and turned into celestial marriages. The church, then, already practices polygyny and polyandry, just not with all spouses living.

    The tribal model just takes what we are already doing in our sealing ceremonies, and applies it to living people, instead of to just dead people. Nothing more, nothing less. What’s so radical about that?

    The Church(TM)-approved source is clear: An marriage sealing that is performed for a worthy man and woman will continue throughout eternity. And since the current Church(TM)-approved practice is to seal vicariously polygynous and polyandrous — it can be inferred that such marriages are not against the law of the kingdom of God.

  49. My understanding is that Joseph Smith–indeed, the entire Smith family, and also Sidney Rigdon–was thoroughly familiar with the language of the King James Version of the Bible and incorporated many of the phrases he found there into his revelations and priesthood blessings and pronouncements. “Wherefore, it is lawful that he should have one wife” seems to be one of these incorporations that Joseph got from the New Testament. D&C 49 was given in response to the Shakers. The section heading states: “Some of the beliefs of the Shakers were that Christ’s second coming had already occurred and that he had appeared in the form of a woman, Ann Lee; baptism by water was not considered essential; the eating of pork was specifically forbidden, and many did not eat any meat; and a celibate life was considered higher than marriage.” it looks to me like Joseph may have opened up his Bible and started reading 1 Timothy 3 and 4 before inquiring of the Lord. If you look at 1 Timothy 3: 2 and 12, we we find the phrase “husband of one wife” which is similar to the “he should have one wife” phrase he used in the revelation. In the very next chapter of 1 Timothy (1 Timothy 4: 3) we read: “Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.” These are the same subjects addressed in the revelation of D&C 49, so it seems logical to assume Joseph read these texts before receiving his revelation. Again, I think it is a safe bet that Joseph was merely using King James Version language when saying “one wife” in the revelation.

    The real question, then, is what did the phrase “husband of one wife” mean in 1 Timothy 3: 2 and 12 and also in Titus 1: 6? Just about everybody is in agreement that it was not to speak against, or address, polygamy. (To address polygamy, a better phrasing would have been, “husband of but one wife.”) Some interpret it as meaning that the man be married (in other words, “husband of a wife”), others that the man not be divorced, one (a polygamist Christian) takes the unique view that it means “husband of first wife”, meaning that the man not be divorced from his first wife, others interpret it as meaning faithful to his wife, etc. There are many interpretations of this phrase. Do a search on the Internet for the various interpretations on these verses and you’ll see the diversity.

    For my own tribe, I think taking this as a minimal standard is a good qualificatory rule for all the priesthood offices.

  50. In my searches I did prior to posting my question here — I saw that other Bible translations render the phrase “never divorced”.

    I also found a polygynous Christian man’s site who pointed out that 1 Timothy 5:9 also includes the same phrase, but for a woman:

    Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years aold, having been the wife of one man,

    But in the Greek, the word translated “one” here and translated “one” in 1 Tim. 3:2, 12 are different words.

  51. IMHO, this is a similar term used by Jacob in the BOM. It is a hebrew euphamism for covenant wife that is equal and free and not a concubine or slave wife. The New Testament was originally authored in hebrew and not aramaic as so many think. This can be learned by study of the Kaballah and Zohar. Think quality not quantity. The greek translation of the New Testament writings is not accurate. We need to get to the original hebrew writings of the New Testament and understand it in the context of the Jewish and Hebrew culture and history.

  52. Everybody knows that the word “one” and the word “an” are similar (even in sound). “An” or “a” is even much more similar in spelling and pronunciation in other latin based languages. (Think Uno, Una, Un)
    Due to the unique mix of Tui, Bantu and other African grammar mixed in with English, Spanish, Portuguese and even Hindi vocabulary in Afro-Jamaican Patois you will never hear Jamaicans from the rural areas or the streets use “a” as in the sentence, “There’s a yellow house on the corner.” They would instead say “Ah one yellow ‘ouse ‘pon di carnah deh.”
    So to think that the word “one” in those scriptures are enumerating rather than serving as the indefinite article is just a little ignorant.

  53. LMAO!

  54. HRLM: The reasoning used by the author of The Peacemaker in regards to marriage are also used by him to condone slavery:

    Abolitionists like other fanatics, pretend to quote scripture in support of their unlawful doctrine.

    That’s my problem with restrictive forms of marriage — they are akin to slavery. So it was telling for me that the author is for polygyny and slavery both.

  55. I know a lot of people have a problem with multiple fathers. But Jesus didn’t seem to have any problem with it. And neither do those who live in heaven apparently. I mean in Matthew 19:29 He promises us all, ” And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.”
    there you have it hundreds of fathers.
    It is our fear that hinders so often.

  56. In section 132 Joseph is to be blessing with a multitude of fathers and mothers. Was Job promised the same or was it just many children?

  57. The issue that I see here is that the requirements for “Marriage covenant #3“ are almost impossible to fulfill by the terms of D&C 132.

    The specific issues that I have is verse 7. This clearly states that there is only one man on the earth at any time, with the sealing power, and says it is “Joseph Smith” in the last days.

    It further states that “All covenants … not sealed by this specific person, “and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred” … “have an end when men are dead.”

    And unless you meet the requirement of being sealed by this one man, “then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory.”

    The big problem to me is that covenant(s) entered into (sealing, baptism, etc … ) are not valid unless they are performed/sealed by Joseph Smith, or by association the president of the LDS church. The number instances that apply to this is obviously very small.

    So this seems to me that almost no marriages will be eternal.

  58. Clint: see my response to your similar comment on the Tribal Relationships post:

    Clint:
    No marriages are ever “for-time only” — all marriages become eternal marriages. Any discussion on this topic must not forget the subject of sealings during the millennium. All marriages will be made eternal during the millennium — even if the Church and membership can’t have them “validly performed by Joseph Smith, or by association the president of the LDS church.

    For-time marriages are celestial marriages — just in due time.

  59. Why are we assuming that it is the current president of the LDS Church(TM) that has the sealing keys? I personally believe that many portions of section 132 were modified by Brigham Young and probably are not in line with God’s will. There are many good things in there. But when it comes to a toss up between 132 and the Spirit. I’ll always go with the Spirit.

  60. Justin: Thanks for the prompt response. This makes sense in terms of fairness and justice, but D&C 132 itself does not mention or emphasize this principle, and while this is subjective to my opinion, I would say that its tone is quite the opposite, implying finality for the scenarios it states.

    I have heard of sealing’s during the millennium (I think anyone who is, or has been, Mormon has), but not sure where this doctrine comes from and whether it has changed and evolved with along with the LDS Church itself, any insight or links for this?

    Zomoarah: The President of the CoJCoLDS is the person who “the LDS Church” says holds all the keys – actually a required belief in the temple recommend questions. However, as you yourself have pointed out, TSM isn’t showing a lot of evidence or fruits related to having these keys and/or the ability to receive revelation. My reference to them/him in my above comment was what I expect the most prevalent beliefs are on who might hold this power in this day, and not so much out of personal belief.

    For me, D&C 132 is the most polarizing and problematic revelation the LDS church has ever had. I keep seeing it being referred to here, as some high minded and egalitarian doctrine of unity, but my experience is that it is an elitist doctrine of self-justification for those sealed in the temple and a recognition of the inferiority and unrighteousness of those who are not.

    If all of the beliefs in D&C 132 could be reconciled in terms of a consistent doctrinal and belief structure of either the original or current church I would be OK with this, hell, I would make sure that I was sealed in the temple within the year, but I am not seeing the internal consistencies that you seem to feel are present in D&C 132. I am partially with Zomorah on this one in that I see a high probably that Brigham Young made some modifications to suit his own agenda, where I part with Zomarah is that I feel if this is the case it is useless as a doctrine.

    People always talk about listening the spirit and I am not going to deny that they can, but the truth is I thought I was listening the spirit for many years while believing things that I now find offensive.

    So my new grounding point is that doctrines must have an extremely high degree of internal consistency, consistency with other doctrines that I believe and they must have more that one scriptural source. It is just a little too hard for me to believe that the most important doctrine to salvation is revealed in D&C 132 but God just forgot to mention it in the Book of Mormon, or Bible, or in anything else we might consider scripture.

    I also have to wonder why Joseph Smith didn’t hasten to present the most important doctrine the church had EVER received regarding reaching the highest state of perfection. Instead, it had to be pulled out of a drawer Brigham Young had been keeping it in for 8 or 9 years and produced as “the ultimate doctrine of salvation” once the saints had settled in Utah and he pretty much had ultimate control anyway.

  61. Clint, LDSA said, of D&C 132:

    D&C 132 seems to divide LDS into three camps: those that believe all 66 verses, those that believe none of them, and those that believe only some of them. I, personally, come from the perspective that the revelation is true. I’m not sure that unity of faith over this revelation can be obtained unless all the parties discussing it believe it is entirely false, entirely true, or partially true and false (with agreement over what parts are true and what parts are false.)

    I am amazed at how many LDS can accept the parts of the revelation dealing with celestial marriage (in monogamy only) while rejecting the parts dealing with plural marriage, especially given that the revelation purports to have been given in response to a question about plural marriage. This, to me, is akin to Joseph asking God about the unknown number 6 and receiving an answer which reveals new concepts: 1+2+3=6. People then accept the new concept 1 as true and discard the new concepts 2, 3 and 6 as false. If 6 is a false concept and Joseph asks about it and gets an answer that 6 is a true concept and consists of true concept 1 plus true concept 2 plus true concept 3, how can anyone arrive at the conclusion that only 1 is true, especially since it is a brand new concept not comparable to anything that has been previously been revealed? The only logical conclusion is that either the entire revelation is false, i.e. 1, 2, 3, and 6 are all false concepts, or that the entire revelation is true. But picking a (previously unknown) truth out of a false revelation appears to be a magic act.

    Much of the online discussion of D&C 132 seems, to me, to be either an attack on the validity of the revelation (accusing it as being inspired of the devil) or a mere intellectual exercise. In other words, if there is no belief in any part of it, then discussion of D&C 132 consists of striving to convince people of its evilness. If there is partial belief in it, then those parts that aren’t believed are attacked as uninspired of God, inspired of the devil, evidence of rampant libido, product of culture, etc. If the parts are not believed to be of God, but are merely considered thoughts of man (as opposed to doctrine of devils), then discussion of these parts is a mere intellectual exercise. Because they are not considered inspired, they have no spiritual application to us.

    Only when viewed as a divine revelation (all 66 verses of it), can its spiritual meaning and application be discussed. This would not be just an intellectual (mental) exercise, but a principle and doctrine to be lived and applied in one’s life, so as to receive the benefit assigned to it.

    Perhaps I am just a skeptic, but I do not see many online LDS viewing the entirety of the section as divine revelation. Without agreement on that point, it would be like a Mormon and a Muslim talking about the doctrines found in the Koran. No unity of faith can be achieved, until all are in agreement that the Koran is divine scripture. The very first thing to find out is if the book is the word of God. If it is, then discuss its doctrines. If it isn’t, then toss it into the trash. Same goes with D&C 132. If BiV (or anyone else) approaches the section from an intellectual standpoint, a curious document that has no bearing whatsoever on our spiritual progression, since its doctrines are not inspired of God, it is a wasted exercise and pointless to discuss it. It is but mental masturbation, producing no seed. If, however, she (or anyone else) approaches it as the word of God and desires to discuss what the principles and doctrines proposed therein actually consist of, then it will have real benefit to people.

    I think part of the problem that people have with what I (and others) have written on this blog about D&C 132 is that I am not discussing it as a mere mental exercise, but as a bona fide revelation that concerns us today. In other words, I see it as real scripture, based upon the revelations I have personally received. Many, I think, who enter here and disagree, do so because they do not accept that section as scripture, or at least, as not 100% scripture (picking and choosing which verses to accept as true.)

    I largely agree with this exposition.

  62. Justin: Thanks, I remember that statement from earlier. To clear up any ambiguity in my last post I will state that at this time I think the revelation is a false one. Please let me know if you think I am misinterpreting this?

    D&C 132:7 And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law are these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred), are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.

    The implications of this are staggering to me. Let’s talk about the baptismal covenant. I mean it is “All covenants”, so how many baptisms are valid? According to verse 5 these conditions have existed since the beginning of the world, so when John the Baptist baptized Jesus, I guess he was the one with all the Keys, and not Jesus himself. How did Cowdry baptize Joseph since clearly Joseph is the one with all the keys? Maybe in this case Oliver Cowdry could perform the baptism and Joseph Smith could seal it. I don’t know but it hurts my brain to think about individual cases like this, and how many previous doctrines of the Church are destroyed by this principle.

    The total investment of all authority to validate any Covenant (and I won’t list the rest of the items) into one individual, or else it is not recognized by God after a person’s death seems pretty narrow considering: 1- we have never heard this sort of limitation sited before in other scripture, including previously in the D&C, 2- the size of the earth and the number of Gods children on it, and 3-even if we are just going to look at the Church, how does 1 person facilitate 14 million people.

    Sure, we can say, well it will all get worked out in the millennium but then we are left with D&C 132 creating way more issues than it actually addresses or solves.

    So the problem to me is that we have a doctrine that is very clear in stating that in order to get to God we MUST do certain things, and then makes it almost impossible after the growth of the church for them to be done in a literal way and even at its doctrinal inception as far as I know this principle was not followed.

    I have tried really hard to understand this for a long time, but this is how it reads to me, and I just can’t wrap my head around it.

    In closing I hope I don’t seem to argumentative, and I certainly do not have a problem with you believing the things you do, you seem very open-minded, even-handed and tolerant, characteristics that I do not believe are usually present in this kind of discussion. I have no issue with you philophies, I just don’t see the literal tie in to D&C 132. I also realize that my post is after this thread is already pretty much done, and appreciate that you still responded, providing me an outlet for these things which continue to bother me.

  63. Not everything that we read in the scriptures can be made to jive with everything else. We must be able to comprehend what is truth and error by reference to the Spirit of God. This is a problem to the professors of religion and leaders of all major religions including the LDS. But the true God has no problem with it. In fact being able to discern truth from falsehood by a direct connection with God is essential to be like Him. So every passage , every passage must be viewed in that light. The Lord said if you have the spirit you can discern truth from error.
    My reading 132 is based upon that. Alma and the Nephi in the book of Helaman had their callings made sure without any other person between them and God and I believe Parley Pratt reported such an experience. I was baptized. I made a covenant with God, not with the leaders of a church. He honors it as I do.
    I do not feel it is required to have the earthly ordinance of the second endowment to become like God. There are probably some who have had the ordinance who will in fact not desire to be like Father and will decide to stop off along the way.
    A ratification of the atonement in ourlives is a personal thing between us and God accomplished by the power of God directly and requires no intermediary. Alvin Smith did not have any of the ordinances and yet was in heaven.
    God is bound by truth not by the words of men or what they interpret truth to be. If we want to be like God, then be like Him. Truth from whatever the source, in whatever form it takes, no matter how crazy or unconventional it may seem is what we must live in order to be congruent to God.

  64. [Comment has been updated to include a link to the post mentioned]

    Clint,

    You do not seem argumentative at all — so don’t worry about continuing to question. This blog is here for people to discuss their gospel ideas — so also don’t worry about commenting on an old post. If you have a new idea on a topic — by all means bring it back up.

    I attempted an exposition of the verse you referenced in a comment — but it grew to be too long. I will publish a post later today that will run thru my thoughts on the questions your raised — I think they are good points and I want to look into them in more detail than can be done in another post’s comment section.

    Here is the post: The conditions of this law

  65. …there is trend in lds church areas in third world country(at least at the back of my head) that young people are forbidden to marry, because it was taught to be temple marriage is ideal, single adults consider worthiness and calling, timetable, effort, employment, and financial means are means to be able to abide that privilege to go to temple, which frustrates those among the weakest of the lds members to marry early and afford the sealing after and forgo the feelings of their youthful love, which lead some to singlenesses in life and mismatches, or so my thoughts could tell…

  66. in argentina no one is discouraged from marrying, but there is some bs rule that you have to wait a year after marriage before you can be sealed unless you get to the temple within a week or some nonsense. so most members in my mission would delay their marriage until they had enough money to travel to the temple. pretty stupid.


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